Texas Lawmakers and Private Poker Clubs

Texas Lawmakers and Private Poker Clubs

Forum etiquette is a serious situation, but Texas seems to have a worse problem than a mole getting into poker forums. Texas has had an increase in private poker clubs recently. The community has paid attention, particularly, law enforcement.

It is illegal to offer poker in a private membership club for poker. One Houston politician made this clear after a shooting in Austin. A player was shot leaving the private club.

Greg Travis decided to talk about the subject of private poker clubs during a talk radio show in Houston. Taking with Ken Webster of Poker Lab Radio, Travis stated he is not against poker or gambling. However, the laws outline what is legal and not.

The laws are broken down as such:

Clubs can be open and private to members only. Clubs cannot take a rake for the hands. Members are also playing only against each other and not against the house, which means all players have an equal chance of winning or losing.

If poker clubs charge fees for other things such as a seat rental fee, drinks, or food, or even rental of the club, then it is operating illegally. Clubs will have a membership fee, which is also something that breaks that law according to Travis.

The reason it breaks the law is the economic benefit the club is getting from gambling. However, one could look at a membership fee as the amount it takes to cover the overhead. If the fee is set at a low cost and the money is used to cover the building, electric, water and sewer than it would be nothing more than any other type of club or non-profit that is attempting to pay for overhead.

It is when the club can show a profit that is a serious issue. Travis is set on the issues and would not vote for a change of law.

The Shooting Does Not Help

The shooting in Austin does not help change the views politicians and other people have regarding gambling and poker clubs. The shooting occurred on an early Monday morning when a 22-year-old left the establishment. Steinbach is now in a stable condition, but he did suffer life-threatening injuries. The shot occurred when he would not let a robber take his money. Unfortunately, the shooter is still at large.

It is not a new concept for Texas to have issues with gambling, starting all the way back to Amarillo Slim and Doyle Brunson.